They built the towers to architectural specification with steel, concrete and facing glass. It wasn’t until the window tinting film went on that anyone realised that all the facades are mirrors, 35 storey tall mirrors, a black pair and an amber pair arranged around a central plaza.
The outward facing wall on each building reflects the city in either black or amber. The walls at right angles that almost meet and face away from the central plaza partly reflect each other but sometimes, from the corner of your eye, you see something else. A flicker of another place. An arctic wasteland under northern lights. A sepia-toned battle field where triplanes scout overhead. An unknown starlit sky.
It’s the plaza walled in by mirrors that’s the thing. The site manager complains that the ground floor should have been open shops. The plaza has everything a piece of open cityscape could want, but no-one sits there at lunchtime to enjoy the sunlight or the fresh air.
Some people used to, saying they enjoyed the way their reflections disappeared four ways off into infinity. The things you see in the mirrored walls besides your reflection put most people off: ghosts in the southern black wall drove away those who couldn’t take being taunted by the dead, although a number became fond of an Asian gentleman with a teapot; another group decided not to come back when they realised that there was always a chess game with live pieces in progress on the northern black wall’s reflection of the empty giant chessboard in the plaza; first time visitors often admired the tromp l’oeil garden set into the amber film on the western wall, saying it looks like you can walk right into it; but it‘s the eastern amber wall that makes most people uncomfortable – the faces and hands pressed against the glass from the far side, like children looking through a foggy window.
Or people trying to find a way into a locked room.